Panic attacks and flashbacks are the memories and emotional responses to trauma experienced. The abuse we suffered from can be hidden away in our minds for years, we can completely forget the events. When our age, wisdom, recovery process or environment become stable enough to allow the memories to be remembered, it may be frighteningly overwhelming.
- The panic and terror you are experiencing will pass. You will endure it, you will survive it.
- During an attack, rub your hands together or clap them. Look around the room and begin to name the objects you see, bed, carpet, window. Rub your feet on the floor and feel the texture. This will help you realize you are not being attacked, but that you are remembering it from a safe place.
- There will be more coming. It will attack, and you will suffer, but it will recede in strength and you will return to a calmer, more grounded state of being.
- After the attack, calm yourself with breathing exercises(two seconds of breath in through the nose, four seconds out, through slightly parted lips, breathing from the top of your stomach). Sipping a small cup of cold ice water is an effective calming technique.
- Post, post, post about the attack and the information in it. Reason on the memories you are suffering from and allow your fellow survivors to support and encourage you.
If you have any questions or want more grounding, relaxation or mindfulness techniques, please let me know.